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COVID-19: One of the Factors That Revived the Fight for Gender Equality.

Gender equality is the key to a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world.

The Woman Post | Silvia Manuela Gutiérrez Rodríguez

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Gender equality is not only considered a fundamental human right, but one of the essential and inescapable foundations of building a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world; for this reason, working on it has always been a demanding and highly relevant topic, but unfortunately, that is a topic that started to be taken into account just recently.

For that reason, the UN sets sustainable development goals. This time we will talk about one of their objectives, which its goal is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls in the world.

The effort to enforce that objective has had results, given that some progress has been made in recent decades; women, since they are children, are participating actively in society, making valuable their rights; for example, more girls are in school, and fewer girls are forced into early marriage; also, more women are in involved in politics, and laws are being reformed to comply with women´s rights.

However, despite the achievements mentioned above, the UN states that there are still many difficulties, as discriminatory laws and social norms continue to be widespread in many cases, like politics, and sexual violence, which has a high statistic number. In all these cases women are still being “underrepresented”.

It is clear that there are still various difficulties and critical cases, covid-19 is one of them, so let’s talk a little bit about it.

The pandemic has probably reversed and may continue to reverse the few achievements that have been made regarding gender equality and women's rights, well, the spread of the virus worsens inequality worldwide for women and girls, both economically, health, and even social protection.

It is at this point where women are being the most affected population, at least, talking about the economy and domestic violence. Due to the increase in care work, which is not paid, which was a consequence of the closure of schools and increased needs for the population, especially the elderly, women have had to play a disproportionate role, having to take responsibility in all these cases, becoming health workers or home caregivers.

Also read: Gender Equality Begins at Home

In addition, unfortunately, the pandemic has also led to a significant increase in violence against women and girls. With the confinement measures, many women were at their homes with their abusers, making it impossible for them to get any kind of help or support. That meant the intensification of violence against women, emphasizing domestic violence.

After the given data, documented by the UN, it is clear that the objective must continue without forgetting its purpose. All the previous development and progress cannot be buried, as has been happening, and not only due to the pandemic, as one might think; well, in fact, this virus was the one that revealed and made us realize that many of the sexist and obtuse thoughts that we thought we had overcome are still valid in society, taking priority away from the need and importance of women in any situation, even in the most “basic ones”, as in those already mentioned, referring to health, economy, and security, presenting, once again, a trend of gender inequality. Women must be included in each one of the priorities as a warranty of their human rights.